Inside the Classroom

Inside the Classroom: Mom, Daughter On College Journey Together

A mother and her daughter talk about attending Houston Community College together.

For many students, the journey to college isn’t a straight path. Sometimes students go back to college after a long break and certain life challenges.

Ashla Glass-Johnson, 37, is one of those adult students. She got pregnant in high school. But now she has a particularly close study buddy—her daughter, Taylor Harris, 19. They attend Houston Community College and talk about their education together for the occasional series “Inside the Classroom” with Education reporter Laura Isensee. 

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Ashla Glass-Johnson, 37, and her daughter Taylor Harris, 19, are both students at Houston Community College.

TRANSCRIPT:

Ashla Glass-Johnson (AGJ): I know it’s very different for both us, considering the age difference. Myself, being 37, you know, I believe I have to work a little harder because, yeah, I’ve forgotten a lot of things since I was in high school.

Taylor Harris (TH): I love the idea of us going to school together because we can always do a lot of different things.

AGJ: Well, one thing, Taylor, if I couldn’t be that role model, I mean, how would you know? You know, children have a tendency to do as they see their parents do. And so in order for me to convey to you the importance of your education, I knew I had to display how important it was.

TH: I look at my friends’ mothers and not everyone have that support in their life. It’s just by the grace of God that I have someone who cares and actually take the time out and help me out and show me the right way because not everyone have that.

AGJ: Considering the fact that I have a come a long ways — when I say that, I battled with a ravaging addiction that lasted nearly 10 years of my life. A drug addiction. It was crack cocaine. And even during my addiction, I saw myself being an educated woman. And therefore, I tried to go to school, but it didn’t work out. It was not successful, because I had that baggage. There were times that I even took Taylor with me to a class if I didn’t have a babysitter and she would go with me.

TH: I remember going to one class. It was — they were both actually music. Or, no, one was Spanish and one was music. And I remember going to the Spanish class, just sitting there. Well, both of them — I liked both of them because I speak Spanish, so the Spanish I enjoyed it. And also the choir class, too, because we both, we’re both into music. I just remember the days of just being there at school on campus and watching the squirrels outside.

AGJ: Where do you see yourself in five years, maybe 10 years from now?

TH: If I don’t go to the Navy and I stay here, in 10 years I see myself, I’ll be out of college and I’ll be started with my career. I have no doubts in my mind about it because I’m very determined. So I just see myself being successful and having my own things and accomplishing my goals. But I won’t be living with my mother anymore.

AGJ: Well, as long as you have all of the tools that you need to succeed and manage in this life, I’ll be happy, happy, happy. That will bring me the greatest joy, knowing that you will be a self-sufficient, successful woman.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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